Celaena Sardothien is an 18-year-old assassin. After finally being caught, she was put in Endovier, the salt mine/prison death camp for a year. She thought that she was going to die in the prison. The Crown Prince, Dorian, pulled her out of the prison and made her a deal. If she would be his champion and win the competition, then she will serve the kingdom for three years and then gain her freedom without having to return to Endovier.
In order to prepare for the trials, Celaena must train with Chaol, and she befriends Nehemia, the princess. Nevertheless, Celaena is bored of court life as she tries to get used to the life of luxury. As the trials begin, Celaena realizes that things might be more difficult than she originally thought, even if no one knows her true identity. People start dying every night, and as Celaena tries to find out who the killer is before she becomes a victim, she discovers her true destiny.
Wow, it took me a really long time to finally get around to reading this! I do not regret reading it at all, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Celaena was an interesting character to read, as she had basically been raised as an assassin, never knowing a normal childhood life. I also liked the fact that the story did not forget about her time in Endovier. Endovier was hell for her, and it would have been unrealistic for her to simply go back to being a carefree teen after escaping from there.
I also enjoyed the storyline of Nehemia. Her character has a few secrets that I’m not going to spoil, but she made a very unique princess for me.
I usually dislike stories that have “trials” and then characters preparing for them. Sometimes, I would even consider skipping the trials and just reading the actual preparation/plot outside of them. I felt this way when reading Furyborn particularly. However, in this book I found myself drawn to the trials and clinging to every single word of them. I almost felt that I could imagine what was happeni9ng as I read it.
One of my favorite parts that is worth mentioning was definitely seeing Celaena struggling with her cycle and cramps when it came back in between trials. I always wondered how girls in these fantasy novels manage, as their cycles seem to just “disappear” when they are in these fantasy worlds. I would love an honest dystopian tale where a girl has to deal with trying to find feminine products in the end of the world, but for now, this is satisfactory!
Lastly, I did like how Celaena’s relationship with Dorian blossomed throughout the novel. Even though I dislike love triangles, I hope she spends time with Chaol also in the next novel, even if they aren’t together.
I also have to make another statement regarding my “Mask of Shadows” review. I might have to revisit this review, because the more I read this story, the more I realized that Mask of Shadows was eerily similar to it. I might end up changing my rating because of it. I hate saying that books seem copied, but this one just seemed to be on so many levels. They both feature characters who are in competitions to become assassins for royalty, they both feature mysterious deaths of other contestants, and they both feature main characters who befriend other contestants/royalty in the process. I was astonished as I read this book, so I might make another post about that later.
I would recommend this to anyone looking for a YA fantasy novel with a strong female main character and addicting action-packed scenes.
Overall Rating: 5/5